In episode 62 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed curator CINDY KANG of the Barnes Foundation on the Impressionist giant, BERTHE MORISOT!
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And WOW is this an incredible insight into Morisot, who was the FIRST woman to ever exhibit with the Impressionists in 1874, and THE woman who paved the way for the Modern Parisian woman.
Praised for her quick, feathery, brushstrokes, infused with light and vivid colouring, Morisot's subjects ranged from family life to the fashionable women of Paris. Unlike her male counterparts, Morisot had access to the private boudoirs of women, who she captured full of vivacity, and radiating in modernity.
Born into an upper-middle class family, along with her sister, Edma, she showed great passion and skill for art from an early age. As a result, they were encouraged and financed by their wealthy parents, who hired one of the foremost tutors in Paris, who told them they were so good it was a CATASTROPHE!
For the next decade, Morisot would become fully immersed in Parisian life, exhibiting, socialising, and befriending the likes of Édouard Manet, whose brother, Eugène, she would go on to marry. He was fully supportive of her career. Morisot was written about by Émile Zola, and had her work sold by the best picture dealers in Paris.
Continuing to radicalise conventions in painting, during the 1880s, Morisot’s brushwork became increasingly loose. Towards the end of her life, Morisot was veering towards working in a Symbolist fashion, as executed in one of her final paintings of her daughter, Portrait of Miss J. M. (Julie Dreaming), 1894, created the year before her life was sadly cut short due to a battle with pneumonia.
LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!!
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by Winnie Simon
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield